Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween! October 31, 2011

From ghosties and ghoulies
and long-leggedy beasties
and things that go bump in the night,
deliver us, O Lord.
~Ancient Scottish Prayer

Hello Family and Friends,

Greetings to all of you from Anacortes, Washington where Cindy and I find ourselves in the midst of some family birthday celebrations on this scariest of days.

Yesterday was the birthday of Pam Engan Shepard, who lives here in Anacortes. She is the wife of my brother Russell Shepard and the mother of Steven Paul Shepard and Linda Shepard. Happy Birthday, Pam!

The first picture shows Pam on the right with her mother-in-law Maida Shepard. This picture was taken at the Shepard family reunion this past summer.

Tomorrow is the birthday of my mother Maida Gower Shepard also of Anacortes. Yesterday all her children gathered at her home on Wildwood Lane and celebrated with her a few days early. She will turn a healthy and spry 87 years old tomorrow, November 1.

Maida has lived in Anacortes, Washington for the last 33 years, ever since she and husband Eugene moved here from San Diego in 1978. She lived in San Diego for 36 years, ever since her family moved there in 1942 from Okemah, Oklahoma. San Diego is where she met and married Eugene Shepard, and where they raised their 6 children. She was born in Mountain View, Arkansas, but spent her childhood in Oklahoma.

Maida has lived on Wildwood Lane since she and Eugene moved here back in 1978. She stays busy with her Church and is connected to all her family, especially son Russ and grandson Steven who live with her. She also loves to travel. Just today she told me, "Any mule train that comes along, I am ready to hop on it." It won't be on a mule train, but she will be leaving later this week to visit her son Darrell and family in Seattle. From there she will go on to visit her family in California, including her youngest  great grandchildren, Logan and Preslea Shepard.

The second picture shows Maida with her oldest son Gary Shepard. This picture was taken at her birthday celebration yesterday. Happy Birthday to mom!

Else- where around our family. The third picture I am including today shows two of Maida Shepard's other  great grand children. On the right are Nate and Kyle Sauvage of Weather- ford, Texas, with their father James, carving a pumpkin and getting ready for Halloween. This picture was taken by their mother Kelly Shepard Sauvage.

Happy Halloween to everyone!
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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Davis Descendants Now and Then, October 25, 2011

It is a desirable thing
to be well-descended,
but the glory belongs
to our ancestors.

Hello Family and Friends,

Greetings to all of you from San Diego where fall has finally decided to arrive with cool nights and overcast skies.

Update on New Headstone Project. Second cousin Jerry Davis contacted me this past week and was excited to tell me that we are getting close to the total we need to purchase a new headstone for our ancestors Alexander and Elizabeth Davis. 12 different descendants of theirs have so far contributed toward the effort, leaving us only $164 short. Please let Jerry ( or me know if you can help us complete this project. We are hoping to raise the necessary amount soon.

As I have mentioned before, the new headstone is to replace the broken and unreadable stones that now exist for Alexander Davis (1819-1866) and his daughter Elizabeth Davis Carter (1844-1867) in Spencer, Indiana. Elizabeth died the year after her father, at just 24 years old, and is buried next to him.

Alexander and his wife Jane Buskirk Davis (who is buried in Helena, Oklahoma) were important pioneer ancestors of ours who migrated westward from Ohio to Indiana in the early 19th century and began a period of several generations when our family lived in the area around Spencer, Indiana. They are also the very first ones among our ancestors to belong to the Campbell/Stone religious movement (The Church of Christ, Christian Church, Disciples of Christ).

Very few of our relatives still live in Spencer today, but it remains a special place in the history of our family. Especially important is the New Union Cemetery northwest of town, where Alexander and Elizabeth, and a number of other ancestors, are buried. Next to the cemetery is a grassy area where the old New Union Church of Christ stood for nearly 100 years until 1957. We are indebted to these folks for their pioneering spirit, their enduring faith and their love of family. Their legacy continues through us and is present in many ways in their descendants who remember them even today.

Happy Birthday Mandi! One of their many descendants is Mandi Aquiningoc of Granbury, Texas. Tomorrow is Mandi's 19th birthday. She is also a descendant of Leroy and Nola (Shannon) Gower. For the first half of Mandi's life she lived in San Diego, where she was born in 1992. The last 10 years or so she has lived in Texas. The first picture shows Mandi (on the right) with her older sister Lyndsey and her cousin Kyle Sauvage. The picture below shows Mandy with her dog Bubbers.

Mandi: "Hi uncle Steve, it's so good to hear from you:) I'm doing great! I finally got a job at panda express here in Granbury and its amazing. I love the job I love the people and I think I'm gonna fit right in:) My sister and I moved in with our grandparents in Granbury which was the best thing for us to do. Life's great uncle Steve, and I'm proud to say that! Hopefully me and my sister can make it out there sometime and visit with the rest of our family."

Here is Mandi's lineage from Alexander and Jane Davis:
  • Alexander Davis (1819-66) who married Jane Buskirk (1823-95), the parents of...
  • Charles Davis (1849-1926) who married Melinda Wright (1846-1920), the parents of...
  • James Brooks Davis (1870-1928) who married Caroline Spear (1865-1951), the parents of...
  • Bura Davis (1896-1986) who married William Shepard (1888-1976), the parents of...
  • Eugene Shepard (1921-2003) who married Maida Gower (1924), the parents of...
  • Gary Shepard (1946) who married Jackie Enderle (1947), the parents of...
  • Kerri Shepard (1968) who married Manuel Aquiningoc (1961-1992), the parents of...
  • Mandi Aquiningoc (1992)
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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Birthdays and New Birth, October 18, 2011

God gave us our relatives; 
thank God we can choose our friends.
~Ethel Watts Mumford

Hello Family and Friends,

Greeting to all of you wherever you may be, on this fine October day in San Diego.

Today is the 14th birthday of Korilyn Boyd. She is the 20th of the 21 Ggrandchildren of Will and Bura Davis Shepard. Kori is the daughter of my cousin Darren and Vicki Boyd of San Diego, and the granddaughter of Terry and Thelma Shepard Boyd of Gallup, New Mexico.

The first picture shows Korilyn (on the left) with a friend. Happy Birthday to Korilyn!

Today is also the birthday of my aunt Vicki Gower Johnston. The daughter of Leroy and Nola Shannon Gower, she was born in Okemah, Oklahoma. Vicki lived in San Diego for many years before moving to Oak Harbor, Washington 35 years ago. She lives there today with her husband Duke Johnston. Vicki has four children, Paula Tuzzolino of Sun Lakes, Arizona, Gloria Watson of Knoxville, Tennessee, Michael Harrell of Mountain View, California and David Harrell of Oak Harbor.
The second picture shows Vicki on the left with her sister Maida Gower Shepard on the right.

Vicki has one grand daughter, Heather Cotton, who lives in San Antonio, Texas with her husband Sean.

The good news in Vicki's family these days is that her grand daughter Heather recently gave birth to her and Sean's second child, and Vicki's second Great Grandchild. Alexandria Danielle Cotton was born just 3 weeks ago on September 29 in San Antonio, Texas. Heather's first child is 3 year old Victoria (named after her Great Grandmother). Congratulations to the happy parents, to grandmother Paula, and to Great Grandmother Vicki.

The third picture shows newborn Alexandria Cotton ("Lexi") at one week old. Paula tells me that mother and baby are doing fine. Paula has been in San Antonio for the last month helping with the arrival of her new grandbaby. Congratulations to Heather and Sean and best wishes to their whole family on the birth of Lexi.
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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Harried Guys and Wandering Women, October 11, 2011

The family is the fundamental unit of society
as well as the root of culture.
It is a perpetual source of encouragement,
assurance and emotional refueling.
~Marianne Neifert

Hello Family and Friends,

Greetings to all of you on this warm fall day in San Diego. Cindy and I are in the middle of a wonderful 10 day experience as full time grandparents, precipitated by the recovery of our daughter-in-law Chenda from her recent surgery. She is doing well and will soon return to her duties as full time mom and wife.

Yesterday was such a beautiful day we went to the San Diego Zoo and enjoyed ourselves with Preslea and Logan and some friends and fellow grand parents and their young ones. The first picture was taken near the end of that memorable adventure. It shows a rather harried Logan and me on the left with a smiling and composed Cindy and Preslea on the right.

Oklahoma Update. I received word just the other day from Dane Shepard of Newcastle, Oklahoma, updating me on the status of his father Elmer Shepard. (The picture below shows Elmer Shepard with his sister Pauline Shepard Russell. It was also taken here in San Diego, not far from where the first picture was taken, but 65 years ago, when the Will and Bura Davis Shepard family was living in San Diego.)

Dane: Greetings and I hope you're enjoying the fall season. We are finally receiving some much needed rain after a dry and warm September. There's been no cool or cold weather so far.

Regarding Elmer, he seems to be consistently calmer and a bit more active than last month. When I am with him, he has a good appetite, consuming his meal plus the ice cream I bring. He sleeps a lot but gets up on his own and sometimes falls. So far nothing serious has happened. His short term memory is indeed very short but he retains a lot of the past. He remembered a lot about Edwin Kilpatrick of recent family emails.

He is in a memory care unit where many of the residents have Alzheimer related issues. He gets visits from wandering women who want to make his bed or do something to the room. One of the male residents, Neal, has given some comic relief to the situation. Last month, at the supper table, for some reason he mentioned that he would be glad when Christmas was over. I asked him how old he was and he said that he didn't remember as it was a long time ago (he is younger than Dad).

As time slips by it is interesting (if not sobering) as to one's view of their role and family position. You see yourself gradually but surely taking the place of those who are going or who have gone ahead.  Having children at an older age has tempered that reality somewhat for me but I am quickly reminded being with Dad. Lord willing, the years ahead hold the promise of fulfillment and even more service and productivity. Indeed, "we walk by faith and not by sight." Most lovingly, Dane.

Thanks to Dane for these words and best wishes to him and Elmer and their family.
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Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Because Two People Fell In Love, October 4, 2011

all because
two people
fell in love.
~author unknown

Hello Family and Friends,

Greetings to all of you from Alameda, California, our home away from home. Cindy and I are enjoying ourselves with Nathan and Chenda and being grandparents of two little ones. Ostensibly we are here helping Chenda who had a nephrectomy just two weeks ago but is doing very well.

I received word recently from my brother Gary's wife, Cindy Dillon Shepard, that her daughter Michele McGauran was promoted to Chief Petty Officer in the Navy just a couple of weeks ago. Gary and Cindy were present to witness the ceremony at Lemoore Naval Air Station in Lemoore, California where Michele is presently stationed. Below is a picture of Cindy's daughter Michele that was taken by the proud mom at the ceremony last month. Congratulations to Michele!

Gary and Cindy live in Oak Harbor, Washington, which is, of course, a long way from Lemoore, California, but is just down the road a bit and across the bridge from Anacortes, Washington where our mother Maida Shepard lives. Below is Gary and Cindy in a picture that was taken this past summer at the Shepard family reunion in Anacortes. (Thanks to Jerry Clark for taking this picture.)

Gary is the oldest of the 5 children of Maida Gower Shepard and the late Eugene Shepard. Below is a picture that was taken last fall and shows us 5 siblings. From right to left are Gary, me, Darrell, Barbara and Russell. Even though we were all born and raised in San Diego, I am the only one of the bunch who lives in California today. The others all live in Western Washington.

Davis Headstone Project. I talked to my second cousin Jerry Davis of Grand Prairie, Texas recently about our campaign to raise money for a new headstone for our common ancestors Alexander and Elizabeth Davis. They reside in the old New Union Cemetery (I love that oxymoron!) in Spencer, Indiana. (Click here for the details.) Jerry tells me that we are well over half way toward our goal of raising $958 for the new headstone. He has spread the word beyond the readership of this blog to a number of other Davis descendants who are interested in participating. Some of you have also expressed an interest in contributing. 

We are hoping to complete this project in the next few months. So if you would like to participate, please send a check to either Jerry (2637 Remington Drive, Grand Prairie, Texas 75052) or to me (918 Camino de la Reina #55, San Diego, Ca 92108). If you have any questions, Jerry or I would be glad to answer them.
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